Recent bird sightings as reported to the Mass Audubon:
The unequivocal avian highlight of the past week was the first Massachusetts record of a roseate spoonbill that spent much of the week in the vicinity of Bartholomew’s Cobble and Corbin’s Neck in the Ashley Falls/Sheffield area of southern Berkshire County. The bird was last seen on Wednesday .
While far from Massachusetts, a very rare avian occurrence recently is the continued presence of a Steller’s sea-eagle in the vicinity of the border area between the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, and New Brunswick. This spectacular eagle has been the source of great interest among birders in recent weeks who might never again have a chance to see this impressive raptor away from its home turf in eastern Russia and Japan.
Cape Cod: Modest numbers of Cory’s, great, sooty, and Manx shearwaters were spotted at Race Point in Provincetown, where a South Polar skua, two parasitic jaegers, and 300 roseate terns were also observed. A caspian tern was seen in Woods Hole, and a royal tern was observed at Chapin Beach in Dennis. An early lark sparrow was found at Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, and two blue grosbeaks continue to be observed at the Crane Wildlife Area in Falmouth.
South of Boston: Four sandhill cranes continue to be regularly observed at Burrage Pond Wildlife Area in Hanson, and in the Squantum section of Quincy both little blue heron and yellow-crowned night-heron were seen along with a Wilson’s phalarope.
Greater Boston: Early-moving warblers tallied last week included Blackburnian, chestnut-sided, Canada, Tennessee, prairie, and mourning warblers. In the days ahead, a variety of other species will likely be seen on the heels of our first cold front and winds from the northwest. Other interesting species in Boston included a yellow-crowned night-heron in the Fenway and an orchard oriole at the Boston Nature Center.
Middlesex County: There were both least and America bitterns at Great Meadows Refuge in Concord, and another least bittern was noted at Bill Brook Marsh in Concord.
Essex County: At Plum Island, there were reports of a clapper rail, a yellow-crowned night-heron, a summering black guillemot, and a dickcissel. Another dickcissel was also found at Halibut Point in Rockport.
Worcester County: Notables featured the continued presence of a family of four sandhill cranes in Hardwick, an upland sandpiper at the Westboro Wildlife Area in Westborough, and an summering evening grosbeak in Royalston.
Western Mass: There were 15 great egrets in same flooded field where the roseate spoonbill was present in the Ashley Falls area, and a lesser black-backed gull at Richmond Pond in Richmond. In Leyden, three Louisiana waterthrushes were tallied along Keets Brook Road, and another family of four sandhill cranes continues to be seen in Ashfield. At the Longmeadow Flats in Longmeadow there was a snowy egret and a lesser black-backed gull. Hampshire County highlights included a little blue heron in Hatfield, three singing alder flycatchers in Cummington, and a continuing blue grosbeak at the Honey Pot in Hadley.
Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket: Continuing seabird surveys from a NOAA research vessel working along the continental shelf edge and beyond continue to document a number of rare southern and deep-water seabird species including many Audubon’s shearwaters, band-rumped storm-petrel, white-faced storm-petrel, black-capped petrel, and most recently a masked booby, as well as a previously reported Barolo shearwater. At Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, a tricolored heron was spotted, and common ravens were noted at both the Vineyard and at Nantucket.
For more information about bird sightings or to report bird sightings, call Mass Audubon at 781-259-8805 or go to www.massaudubon.org.